Australia A player ignites argument on Laws of Cricket with contentious run out in English club game
The incident occurred during a game between Saffron Walden CC and Frinton on Sea CC.
Updated - Aug 2, 2022 1:14 pm
A discussion on the Laws and Spirit of Cricket has been triggered by a contentious run-out in a club cricket match between Saffron Walden CC and Frinton on Sea CC. With his run out of Saffron Walden’s Nikhil Gorantla, Bryce Street, an international player for Frinton on Sea and a member of Australia A and Queensland, started the argument.
The dismissal was contested on the grounds that it violated the statutes against unfair play and the dead ball. The event happened in the first innings of the East Anglia Premier League match when Gorantla was on 32 and had been instrumental in putting Saffron Walden on a solid footing by guiding them to 117-1.
Street, who had previously taken the first wicket to fall, was defended by Gorantla’s batting partner, Alex Peirson, as he hit the ball back down the pitch. The bowler then collected it and signaled that he would attempt a shy at the striker’s stumps. Then, as he appeared to be getting ready to bowl his next delivery, he started to make his way back to his mark.
However, when he saw Gorantla standing outside the crease instead of within it, he dropped the ball at the stumps and appealed. Gorantla adjusted after setting his bat down within the crease. As Frinton on Sea celebrated the wicket, he was given out. The East Anglia Premier League’s official account tweeted a video of the incident, however, it has already been removed.
The choice was contested on various levels. Law 20 states that “the ball becomes dead when it is finally settled in the hands of the wicketkeeper or bowler,” which led some to believe the ball should have been deemed dead. However, the law also states that “whether the ball is finally settled or not is a matter for the umpire alone to decide.”
“Whether the ball is finally settled is up to the bowler’s end umpire,” said Jonny Singer, a Laws of Cricket adviser. “He decided it wasn’t, so it’s not. I would have come to a different view, but I wasn’t on the field.”
Others thought the bowler ought to have broken the “fake fielding” law. Law 41.5 states that “it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batter after the striker has received the ball. It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception, or obstruction is wilful or not.”
The defense in this instance is that by returning to his mark slowly, the bowler was trying to persuade the batter that the ball was dead before running him out.
The turning point resulted in a six-wicket victory, with Street contributing several more times. The wicket of Gorantla, who scored a century and a double century in back-to-back weeks for the Essex Second XI earlier this summer, was crucial in helping Saffron Walden go from 142-2 to 157-7. Street also added three more dismissals to his total. Even though they rallied to score 218, Street’s perfect century clinched the triumph.